Mark 13:8
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
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13:5-13 Our Lord Jesus, in reply to the disciples' question, does not so much satisfy their curiosity as direct their consciences. When many are deceived, we should thereby be awakened to look to ourselves. And the disciples of Christ, if it be not their own fault, may enjoy holy security and peace of mind, when all around is in disorder. But they must take heed that they are not drawn away from Christ and their duty to him, by the sufferings they will meet with for his sake. They shall be hated of all men: trouble enough! Yet the work they were called to should be carried on and prosper. Though they may be crushed and borne down, the gospel cannot be. The salvation promised is more than deliverance from evil, it is everlasting blessedness.On the mount of Olives, over against the temple - The Mount of Olives was directly east of Jerusalem, and from it there was a fine view of the temple. 8. These are the beginnings of sorrows—"of travail-pangs," to which heavy calamities are compared. (See Jer 4:31, &c.). The annals of Tacitus tell us how the Roman world was convulsed, before the destruction of Jerusalem, by rival claimants of the imperial purple. See Poole on "Mark 13:7"

For nation shall rise against nation,.... The nations of the world one against another, and the Romans against the Jews, and the Jews against them:

and kingdom against kingdom; which is a synonymous phrase with the former, and what the Jews call, , "different words", expressing the same thing, often used in their commentaries:

and there shall be earthquakes in divers places; of the world:

and there shall be famines: especially in Judea, as in the times of Claudius Caesar, and at the siege of Jerusalem:

and troubles; public ones of various sorts, as tumults, seditions, murders, &c. This word is omitted in the Vulgate Latin, and Ethiopic versions.

These are the beginnings of sorrows; as of a woman with child, as the word signifies; whose pains before, though they are the beginnings and pledges of what shall come after, are not to be compared with those that immediately precede, and attend the birth of the child: and so all those troubles, which should be some time before the destruction of Jerusalem, would be but small, but light afflictions, the beginning of sorrows, in comparison of what should immediately go before, and attend that desolation; See Gill on Matthew 24:7, Matthew 24:8.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
Mark 13:8. ἔσονται σεισμοὶ, etc., there will be earthquakes in places; there will be famines. Here again the briefest reading without connecting particles (καὶ, καὶ) is to be preferred, as suiting the abrupt style congenial to the prophetic mood. The καὶ ταραχαί after λιμοὶ may have fallen out of [122] [123] [124] [125] by homoeoteleuton (ἀρχαὶ following immediately after), but after earthquakes and famines disturbances seems an anticlimax.

[122] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[123] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[124] Codex Bezae

[125] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.

8. the beginnings of sorrows] rather, of birth-pangs. The word only occurs in four places in the N. T. Here; in the parallel, Matthew 24:8; in Acts 2:24, “having loosed the pains (rather the pangs) of death;” and 1 Thessalonians 5:3, “then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail (or birth-pangs) upon a woman with child.” The occurrence of the expression here is remarkable, and recals other places of Scripture, where Creation is said to be “groaning and travailing” (Romans 8:22), waiting for its regeneration (Matthew 19:28) or New Birth. For the fulfilment of these prophecies comp. Jos. Ant. xix. 1; Tac. Ann. xii. 38, xv. 22, xvi. 13; Sen. Ep. xci. Tacitus describing the epoch (Hist. i. 2) calls it “opimum casibus, atrox præliis, discors seditionibus, ipsâ etiam pace sævum.” These “signs” then ushered in the epoch of the destruction of Jerusalem, but realized on a larger scale they are to herald the End of all things; comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:2.

Mark 13:8. Ταραχαὶ, troubles) in the great and lesser world [macrocosmo et microcosmo].

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